People on the Train


I am a slave to the public transportation system of the City of Los Angeles. I commute to work every day on the Blue Line and Green Line light rail trains, save for those times for when I need a break from backpacks being shoved into my chest; the smell of cocoa butter, weed and watermelon Jolly Ranchers; and having some fat lady’s too-big-to-be-wearing-Spandex ass resting on my shoulder as I sit.

It’s on those occasions when I gleefully subject myself to driving the grind of the 405 freeway.

In the few years I have been riding, I have become familiar with a handful of fellow train commuters. While I don’t know them by name, nor would I care to, I definitely recognize them the second I see them. And because I don’t know them by name, I have tagged them all with my very own nicknames.

Here is the list in no particular order:

Emo Boy. Just as his name implies, Emo Boy doesn’t show much emotion. He stands at the Green Line station staring into oblivion with his arms akimbo, probably hoping that the next train will miraculously jump the tracks and splatter him, sending him to The Black Parade. Same goes for when he’s on the train: nothing. He looks a lot like a younger version of the Zima Guy except without the stupid hat.

Lord Farquaad. I was originally going to tag this guy Mr. Bentley after the character from “The Jeffersons” because his facial features resemble that of the George’s British neighbor. Instead, his out-of-date hairstyle, the texture not unlike the hair found atop Gene Wilder’s cranium (if he has any left), earned him the moniker of Lord Farquaad. He’s just not as evil–I think. Dude also wears loafers, skin-tight purple corduroys and, if I recall correctly, a Member’s Only jacket. I realize I’m in Los Angeles, but c’mon…even we have limits.

Pigeon Lady. I haven’t seen her in a while but she’s hard to miss: with bulbous eyes and a small mouth, she always looks surprised. Or has something crammed in a cavity somewhere. But more to the point, she looks like the pigeon from those Mo Willems books.

Max from “Max and Ruby.” I can almost hear the theme from “Max and Ruby” whenever this guy strolls by. Well, it’s less of a stroll than it is a rolling gait. I don’t even know if the guy has knees because when he sits on the bench, his legs stick all the way out. Maybe he killed fiddy men like Cotton did and had his shins blown off.

MexiMidgets*. These…these chuckling little annoyances measure about four-foot-nothing and work in the hotels in the area, and what they lack in height they make up for in girth. It’s not uncommon to have a group of them rush the train, shove people out of the way, hop on board and then squeeze into the tiniest space allowable. It’s kind of my idea of what Munchkin Land would be like if it were in Mexico but with less singing and more taco stands. And if you’re really lucky, they’ll sit next to you and rest their lunch on your lap (trust me, it’s happened). To them I say this (if they understood English): you’re not as small as you think and you’re not the only people on the train! Show a little courtesy, for Chrissakes.

Face. Since my schedule was changed, I don’t see Face much anymore. She was a rather rotund woman with glasses that were not only out of style but looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in at least a decade, and it wouldn’t have surprised me if there were a few crusty boogers on them, too. She always sat in the corner of the train and stroked her face the entire trip, hence the nickname. Maybe she was feeling for areas she missed when she shaved that morning; maybe she just had this nervous tick. Either way, she annoyed the piss out of me.

Any Winehouse Girl. This teenager tries to mimic the eye makeup of everybody’s favorite crackwhore without much success. I got to stand real close to AWG a few times and while I’m no expert at applying makeup, it was a pretty sad sight to see. Dried-up black stuff all over her face. So I give Any Winehouse a little credit, but not a whole lot. She’d probably sell it for a gram of coke anyway.

So there you have it. I’m sure I have a few nicknames myself but blah, whatever. I’m sure they aren’t as amusing as my own.

* Oh, don’t get all bent out of shape. I’m Hispanic, too, and those little twits annoy the living shit out of me.

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One thought on “People on the Train

  1. I also did the same thing.Had nick names for people I would see all the time.My fav was the “Fred Schnieder Guy” who looked like the B-52’s lead singer and merry maker.Had the same look in his eyes.Rather funny.There was also “The Key Master” who was the older guy,walked with a hunch and always had like two huge key rings on him.Then there was “Most Angry Asian Man” who got on at Del Amo each day always with the look on his face that someone took his won ton soup.He would always sit facing the asile,and nobody would sit next to him. Then finally, “The Color Purple Club” which was a group of 5 black women who were all goverment workers.They would get in at 7th street down town and talk NON STOP all the way to Del Amo.They always had the 4-11 on who zoomed who each week.
    I miss the train!

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